Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Copper Production 101

"Everything in life that is not grown must come from the ground" - The KIN Catalyst

The world needs mining. What would it be our world without mining? No copper for wire, no steel for construction, no cement for building houses, no gold for computer chips, and so many more things we wouldn't have without mining. Our daily life with mining industries is so close yet so far. We use its final product everyday but we never know its journey from ground to our house.

Today we use cellphone, laptop, watch TV, lamps everywhere and all of them are needing conductor to connect to electricity source. The problem is conductor are hid deep beneath the ground. It takes deep enough digging till you reach it. That's why we need mining. However, from mining we cannot obtain pure gold, copper, iron, etc as needed to be the conductor but we obtain ore instead. Mining is only a start for other processes to produce the cables we use everywhere till we become so used to it and barely notice it. 

This post will be about processes involved in producing our home electricity cables from the ground. I collected the information mostly from the explanation i got while participating in Newmont Sustainable Mining Bootcamp with addition of some googled information as cited.

Mining Process

Land with rich mineral content such as copper or gold or other minerals usually found in a remote area. Indonesia is one lucky country that has many minerals deposit beneath its land and sea. One of the deposit was found in west part of Sumbawa Island which later they called it Batu Hijau mine. Batu Hijau mine is a porphyry copper deposit with gold and silver as associated minerals. Every tonne of processed ores generates an average of 4.87 kilograms of copper and 0.37 grams of gold.

When they firstly found copper in Batu Hijau, that area was just a land covered by trees. In order to run the operation, they clear the land from its trees. Top soil, the fertile layer of land, is pared then placed in for some time and will be re-used for reclamation.

Mining Process (source: PTNNT)
After land clearing, they prepared for drilling and blasting which makes the rocks crumble. Rocks then carried based on its copper content (high, medium, low, or waste). High copper content ore will go directly through crusher. Medium and low copper content ore will be placed in stockpile and the rest without copper content will be placed in the waste dump. Ore in stockpile also will be processed later.

Ore Processing

This process aim to obtain concentrate from ore. Ore firstly crushed into smaller pieces and then enter the grinding process till it become a very small particles. Then the valuable minerals are separated from the rocks that have no economical value through flotation processes. Flotation produced side waste called Tailing which isn't harmful and placed in deep sea water.

Ore Processing (source: PTNNT)

The valuable mineral gained from flotation process then go through dewatering process which decrease the water level to 8-9% to what we called concentrate. Concentrate shipped to the smelter which then process it to be anothere semi finished materials.

Copper Concentrate Processing

Concentate from PTNNT shipped to PT Smelting in Gresik and other companies abroad. Here the concentrate go through several advance processes to become copper cathode as it's main product. Copper cathode is the main material to produce copper rod and wire.
Copper Concentrate Processing (source: PT Smelting)
Side product from smelting such as copper slag, anode slime, copper telluride, gypsum, and sulfuric acid will be sold to other companies to be used as a material for producing cement, fertilizer, etc.

Copper Rod and Copper Wire Processing

Copper cathode melted using a certain-process-i-will-not-explain-in-detail and then go through continuous casting and rolling processes to form the desirable specification.
Continuous casting and rolling (source:
Copper Rod Packed
To produce a copper wire we use at home, the copper rod has to enter the drawing process till the diameter meets the specification. It will be covered using isolator such as pvc or else depends on the its function. After going through some testing steps, it will be delivered to warehouses and retailers. Some electronics company will buy it B2B to complete their product. Some other companies will buy it to install electricity in their construction project of building hospital or school or mall or airport or military base, or any construction. While we you usually buy it from the retailer or maybe online nowdays.

Tada! Your copper wire has arrived!

Now you know that you depend a huge part of your life in mining industries.
Readmore → Copper Production 101

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mosaic of Stories Collected Around PTNNT

It was on my early college life that Kak Bayu told me some stories about PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara. Nope, he didn't worked in that company but he knew many stories about life inside PTNNT and life around the mining ring. Some of them are "The company pay high for photographers to take a picture of a small village like Maluk!" or "They have school inside" or "Maluk is expensive, I remembered which place has the most reasonable price to eat" or "It's very hot there more over in Concentrator. When we decide who will be in Condentrator, duh..." or "I sleep inside a container!" or "They label the menu, healthy or unhealthy. You choose". Some other story are about beautiful beaches around there like Tropical Beach or Maluk Beach and the story about 'bule-bule' love to surf there. And his story was a trigger to my eager to visit PTNNT.

When I went there as a participant of Newmont Sustainable Mining Bootcamp, I am very excited to see what Kak Bayu has told me before. About the company, about living around, and about the beaches.

I met Pak Budi and Bli Gede. Photographer and Videographer of PTNNT. I didn't asked how high the company pay them but well, at least i found that it's true PTNNT really hire professional photographers! The first company that their core business isn't entertainment related and hire professional photographers i knew was PTNNT. 

On the 2nd or 3rd day of the Bootcamp, Melo, Afi, and I accidentally had breakfast in the same table with 2 teachers of Buin Batu school, a school for employees' kids who lived in the Town Site. This is also the first time I knew that teached can work for a mining company! (Under the school name of course). They told me a little about the school. It was elementary school and junior high with total of 700s students (if I wasn't mistaken). One of them also showed us how to smuggle bread out from the mess hall (since it's forbidden, there're sign written on the exit door but i didn't capture it) hahaha. 
Entrance of Tambora Mess Hall
When we (Group 2 of Newmont Bootcamp) stayed at Bapak Arifin's house in Maluk, I found that Maluk is expensive like Kak Bayu told me. Bapak Arifin owns 'kos-kosan' which priced 1.5 mio per room per month. Whoa! That room has a bathroom inside, no air conditioner. My room in Menteng Atas, South Jakarta priced as the same with bathroom and air cond inside. Can you imagine that? Maluk has same expensive 'kosan' price as Jakarta! Whereas in my hometown, Singaraja (Bali) which is technically a city, much more crowded than Maluk and even has KFC, one big university, some cute cafes, more concrete building, but without mining of course, 'kosan' like that is only 400-500 K. Well, as I learned in product development class, price can be also determined by purchasing power of the targeted customer. And targeted customers of 'kosan' in Maluk are those comers who work for PTNNT who got living allowance if they are not living in the townsite (another info from Kak Bayu :p). And the allowance is much higher compare to price of 'kosan'. So, ya, they will take it of course.
Maluk in The Morning From Pak Arifin's House
But it's not only the 'kosan', i found that price of a pair of sandals is nearly 2 times higher there. A pair of sandal I used to buy for 30 K is priced 65K there. After some bargaining, i pay for 50K.  I knew that because I bought one. Someone took mine when I was changing my clothes in a public toilet in Maluk Beach after swimming and then I bought the new one in a shop right under Pak Arifin's House. (I think that was his place too, rented to be used as a shop hmm Pak Arifin must be very rich hehehe).
Maluk in The Morning...(2)
We arrived in the Town Site when it's dark already so we just jump to our room because we're all very tired after those air-land-water-land long trip to reach this place. I did not notice how was the our building until the next morning. Our room was made from stacked container box. Pak Khun, a participant of Bootcamp describe it as "Sederhana, fungsional, gak kalah dengan hotel budget."

I remembered that every morning I left the room I always turned off the AC but in the evening I came back there the AC was always turned back. Then I realized that maybe it is because the rooms are made from container box which is made from metal. If the AC turned off, when we're back it will be as hot as hell and produce smell like an old sock. I came up with this thought after noticing an unused room left with the door closed but the window stayed opened...or maybe the window opened because the last person used it forget to close it? Nah, it's just my theory~ The point is that the room made of container. Offices building also made temporal with material that look alike the metal sheet used for container. No concrete as I noticed.
Our Rooms, T3
In this paragraph I should end this post beautifully so people will come again to read follow through. But unfortunately, I am just a bad-skilled-for-making-a-good-ending-amateur-blogger. So, ya, i left the post here. Next post will be about the sexy beaches. 

Have a nice day!

Menteng Atas, 08.03.16

Kadek Dwika
Readmore → Mosaic of Stories Collected Around PTNNT

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Back in Days: Kindness and Happiness

Dua hari yang lalu, hujan yang cukup deras baru saja reda di selatan Jakarta. Saya pergi ke warung dekat kosan tanpa payung. Pulangnya, saya berjalan kaki tepat di belakang dua bocah kecil dan payung-payung lebar mereka yang sudah terlipat. Kemudian mereka berhenti di depan warung makan. Kurang lebih yang mereka bicarakan adalah menu apa yang enak dan akan mereka pesan. Saya pun berlalu, tersenyum, bahagia. 

I dont have the picture of that two little boys, here is two little turtle facing the wild world for the first time :)

Potongan cerita dua bocah kecil sore itu membawa saya pada ingatan tentang bagaimana hal-hal kecil bisa dengan sangat mudah membuat kita bersyukur dan bahkan merasa bahagia. 

Melihat dua bocah itu memilih makanan enak yang mereka inginkan dengan uang hasil dari berkah hujan, buat saya itu membahagiakan. It makes me smile till i went sleeping.

Ada juga cerita hujan lain yang membawa saya pada rasa syukur yang amat sangat. Cerita hujan di penghujung tahun 2015 ketika kami merayakan tahun baru di sebuah mall di Serpong dan hampir tidak bisa pulang karena jalanan macet, tanpa taxi atau angkutan apapun yang bisa kami tumpangi. Beruntung, amat sangat beruntung, seorang security membantu mencarikan kami tumpangan, meminjamkan password wifi--sinyal provider saya jelek banget disana--agar kami bisa pesan taxi/ojek online, tapi tetap tidak berhasil hingga akhirnya beliau sendiri (dan beberapa temannya) yang mengantarkan kami langsung. Meminjami saya jaket karena hujan yang semakin deras. Tanpa dibayar. Mengantarkan kami selamat sampai tujuan tanpa kurang satu apapun. Tanpa mencoba menggoda kami sedikitpun. I felt so grateful that night, gak ngerti lagi apa jadinya kalau gak ada mereka.

Kebaikan bukan cuma tentang apa yang kita dapat, tapi juga apa yang kita lakukan. Keduanya bisa membuat saya tersenyum dan senang. Ada euphoria tersendiri yang entah apa namanya.

Waktu itu saya sedang duduk di student lounge kampus. Dua orang perempuan di sebelah saya--sepertinya angkatan bawah--berbicara dengan suara direndahkan, dia butuh pembalut. Saya tergelitik, rasanya ingin saja memberikan apa yang ia butuhkan dan kebetulan saya punya. Awalnya ragu, I was thinking like what if they think I am weird, silently listening to their conversation. Pada akhirnya I asked her to reconfirm if she need it and i gave one for her. She said thanks. And that made me happy. My first simple action of helping to stranger in campus. 

Back in days, I was waiting for a bus but no bus is coming. Then I asked a security why I can't find the bus there. Beliau bilang rute bus yang menuju arah tujuan saya tidak lewat jalan itu, saya harus jalan cukup jauh kalau mau dapat busnya. Beliau juga tidak lupa menunjukan arah yang harus saya lalui. Setelah berjalan beberapa menit, seorang petugas dari kantor itu ada yang kebetulan searah dengan saya, mengendarai motor, menghampiri dan menawari saya tumpangan ke tempat menunggu bus. I didn't know him. He didn't know me. But he kindly offered me a little yet meaningful help. That kindness I got that day has encouraged me to do the action in paragraph before.

We don't need to know each other to help each other.

Doing kindness is not only about helping others, it is also about helping ourselves. 

Helping ourselves to feel the compassion, to achieve happiness.

Everyone wants to be happy, no?

Well, although each of us might defined happiness differently, I think there is an universal definition of happiness beside the one we defined: the feeling we got after doing, getting, or watching kindness. No, I don't feel like it's the right definition. Just conclude it yourself :)

Menteng Atas, 02/03/2016

Kadek Dwika 
Readmore → Back in Days: Kindness and Happiness